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Caryn Mandabach Taps Michael Besman to Head L.A. Office

Mandabach's 'Peaky Blinders' was optioned by The Weinstein Company in the U.S.

LONDON — Film producer Michael Besman (“About Schmidt”) has been tapped to head up the L.A. office of Caryn Mandabach, the U.K.-based Hollywood producer, whose credits include “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” “That 70s Show” and “Nurse Jackie.”

Besman, who joins Caryn Mandabach Prods. with the remit to develop and produce premium television content for the U.S., U.K. and international broadcasters, is a veteran studio exec with credits including “Batman,” “Jumanji,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “As Good as It Gets,” “About Schmidt,” “Seven Years in Tibet,” “The Opposite of Sex” and “Bounce.”

Caryn Mandabach Prods., which has offices on both sides of the Atlantic, is in active development with comedy and drama series for the BBC and Channel 4 in the U.K.; and HBO and USA Network in the U.S.

The most recent show produced by the shingle is the BBC’s period gang drama “Peaky Blinders,” which has been optioned by The Weinstein Company in the U.S.

“Peaky Blinders,” a co-production with Tiger Aspect, and created and written by Steven Knight (“Dirty Pretty Things,” “Eastern Promises”), stars Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill and Helen McCrory. The six-part returning series recently aired on BBC2. Season two is in pre-production and is due to air fall 2014.

Mandabach said: “Michael has the rare ability to discover and nurture stories that appeal to hearts and minds everywhere. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him join our merry band.”

Besman said: “It’s a unique opportunity to work in television with someone of Caryn’s history, taste and accomplishment. It will be exciting to be part of a venture generating content for global broadcasters.”

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